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Elections 2014: BEST, railways reduce services to let staffers vote

As the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) and the railways form an integral part that keeps the city running, administrations have planned to operate their respective services.

Both railways and BEST administrators said they have reduced the number of services to make the working schedule flexible for those reporting to work today. File pics
Both railways and BEST administrators said they have reduced the number of services to make the working schedule flexible for those reporting to work today. File pics

However, they have decided to reduce the number of services. Nevertheless, motormen claimed that not all their colleagues would be able to cast their vote due to the working schedule.

Both railways and BEST administrators said they have reduced the number of services to make the working schedule flexible for those reporting to work today. File pics

“Over 100 motormen might not be able to vote as they stay far from their workplaces. So by the time they finish their shift, the voting hours might have concluded,” said a Western Railway (WR) motorman.

Railway and BEST unions have exhibited displeasure over the decision. Office-bearers of several unions claimed it was wrong on the railway administration’s part to keep such a tight schedule for motormen and guards.

“We have told the administration to allow them to vote before reporting to work or let them leave early,” said A Mahendru, an office-bearer at the National Railway Mazdoor Union.

Motormen usually work for six to eight hours, depending on their shifts. The administration claimed that they have asked its staff to vote first and then report to work.

“We know that voting is important. Hence we have kept the schedule flexible for all those reporting to work,” a senior railway official said. The BEST administration has made a similar provision for its staffers, who will be reporting to work today.

The BEST spokesperson said the undertaking has given permission to drivers and conductors to vote and then report to work, or leave early to cast their vote. A BEST union leader said, “We had asked the administration to make provision on the voting day (today), so that staffers can vote.”

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